British clothing brand Le Col has announced a collaboration with Johan Museeuw in advance of the Tour of Flanders, a race the legendary Belgian won three times.
Museeuw, who becomes a Le Col ambassador alongside other legends including Bradley Wiggins, Sarah Storey and Alessandro Ballan, was known as the Lion of Flanders: one of the two jerseys in the new collection features a stylised rampant lion, borrowed from the Flemish coat of arms, against the light blue of the Belgian national team.
As well as winning the Tour of Flanders three times and Paris-Roubaix three times, Museeuw was also world champion in 1996, which was his best year (opens in new tab): the second jersey celebrates his victory in Lugano, Switzerland, with a fragmented rainbow band on a black background.
The third jersey in the collection is plain black or light blue with Le Col’s logo and Museeuw’s signature on the breast.
And of course there’s a casquette, light blue with the Flemish lion to match the first jersey and socks to finish off the look.
Museeuw, now 55, has written down for Le Col what it means to be Flandrian, why in Flanders “every route is beautiful, even if you take another road off the [Tour of] Flanders route” and what life is like for him these days: “When I was riding I never stopped on training [rides]. Now it’s different. Now I like to stop after a couple of hours and to have a coffee, and when it’s possible, a beer.
“I always want to stop on a special road called Ronde Van Vlaanderenstaat. You can see the whole street from the beginning to the end from the old cafe in the middle. It’s beautiful, it’s old, you can drink very good beer and coffee.”
"Yeah, it's difficult to say why I was dominant and that kind of racer," he continues. "For long distance races and harder races like Flanders and Roubaix, you make your training programme for these races. My generation was thinking that they have to do six or seven hours every day. Now it's different."
Read Museeuw's words in their entirety at Le Col’s website.
The short sleeved jerseys are priced at £95, the long-sleeved jerseys at £135, the casquette £20 and the socks £16. All are limited editions, according to Le Col.
See the Le Col x Lion of Flanders collection here (opens in new tab).
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Simon Smythe is Cycling Weekly's senior tech writer and has been in various roles at CW since 2003. His first job was as a sub editor following an MA in online journalism.
In his cycling career Simon has mostly focused on time trialling with a national medal, a few open wins and his club's 30-mile record in his palmares. These days he spends a bit more time testing road bikes, or on a tandem doing the school run with his younger son.
What's in the stable? There's a Colnago Master Olympic, a Hotta TT700, an ex-Castorama lo-pro that was ridden in the 1993 Tour de France, a Pinarello Montello, an Independent Fabrication Club Racer, a Mercian Classic fixed winter bike and a renovated Roberts with a modern Campag groupset.
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